Friday, December 29, 2006

Past Century Marketing

I'd like to add another small request to this list:

TV and Radio commercials must remain at the same volume level as the rest of the programming.

The Gods of War

Beware of those who fight wars in the name of their God. In my opinion, there is no greater oxymoron than the words "Holy War". Are we really to believe that the the creator of life itself wants us to take take those lives in his name? What would be the logic in that?

During this Holiday season, many people celebrate different versions of their God. We need to understand that we all celebrate and worship the same Deity - the creator of life. If a person believes something that does not agree with what you were taught, it does not make them wrong - even if you have a book to "prove" it. They have a book too.

You do not need to believe what another person believes. More importantly, they do not need to believe what you believe. Faith in God is deeply personal and different for each of us. If only we could stop trying to force our beliefs on others, we might actually have a chance at Peace On Earth.

Properly Hung

As I've said in the past, I am against Capital Punishment. However, other countries seem to do it right. Tonight it is reported that Saddam Hussein was executed by hanging only several days after his trial ended. No feeding the accused for 20 years. And no living for 20 years with the knowledge that you will be executed.

If it has to be done - that is the way to do it.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Its The Little Things

Well the American people have spoken and they want change. I am delighted that the Democrats have taken over both the House and the Senate. I am confident we will see some positive change. It doesn’t have to be drastic – it just has to be positive.

If I had my way, I’d have a few little things changed like the following:

  • Change the “Do Not Call” list to the “Do Call” list. It will be much easier to maintain.
  • Similarly, change "Opt Out" to "Opt In" for special offers. It should never be assumed we want to be harrassed.
  • I’d like to go back to being able to actually buy something rather than subscribe to it for the rest of my life.
  • Software companies should be required to support their products well into the future.
  • Software companies – especially operating systems like Windows, should be fined whenever someone is able to discover a gaping security hole.
  • I’d like to know that my personal phone calls and e-mail are not monitored by the Government unless they have a darn good reason – and a warrant.
  • And would it be too much to ask for free air for my tires at a gas station?

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Dentistry still seems a bit barbaric to me.

The Good Book

There are lots of versions of the Bible – The King James version, a version for each language, and even one interpreted by the pastor of my Church. But I haven’t seen one written and signed by God himself. Therefore, every version of the Bible available to us was written by human hands and influenced by human bias, opinions and laws of the time it was written.

Add to that the fact that each person that reads the words of the Bible will get a different meaning from them subject to their own opinions, biases, and laws of the time it is being read.

Therefore the Bible can only be used as a GUIDE and not an absolute rule. And it should be YOUR guide only.

Happy are those that find salvation in their hearts and not in a book.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Pay Attention to Your Party

I hope Republicans are paying attention to how their political party is reacting to recent events. The rash of scandals in the GOP party may certainly be due to near election politics, but how the party is handling those accusations should be noted.

The Mark Foley scandal is a perfect example. Rather than owning up to the charges, which are most likely true, they simply whisked him off to rehab and tried to blame his actions on a drinking problem. Then, even worse, they broke the news that poor Mark was molested as a child by a Priest. If true, in either case, these are not excuses for Mr. Foley's actions. He is a grown man in a very powerful position and he should be held responsible for his behavior.

If I were a Republican (gasp!), I would be very concerned at how quickly and easily their political leaders can twist the facts to hide their misdeeds. Can they really be trusted at all?

The Republicans made a very big deal about President Clinton's sex scandal to the point of impeaching a very good President. Its time they own up - not cover up their own scandals.

Friday, October 13, 2006

A bizarre Theory

The more I look at the amazing pictures from orbiting telescopes like Hubble and some of the newer land based telescopes, the more I ponder what it is all about. Everything is swirling and circulating about in a manor that used to seem random, but the more we see the more organized it becomes. I think I'm going to officially declare a far-out theory (pardon the pun) which I have hinted at before. After all, many fantastic discoveries in the past began as a ridiculous theories - so here goes.

I believe that what we are looking at out in space is a flow of energy through a confined space - of which we haven't seen the boundaries yet. I think we are part of a "blood stream" of sorts for a much larger "organism". The energy from stars and galaxies feed this "organism" like our blood cells feed our bodies. Earth and it's inhabitants are rather insignificant to this total picture, much like a bacteria or smaller organisms are insignificant in our bodies - but all are needed to support the "organism" in some way.

This, of course, would be nearly impossible to prove with our current technology. But who knows, maybe someone will look back one day and say I was visionary. I hope it happens before we pass through the "heart" and get all mixed up.

Monday, October 09, 2006

The Ominous Cloud of AIDS - Part 3 of 3 "The Future"

In the first two parts of this series I discussed how the fear of HIV / AIDS has affected many decisions in my life. I also talked of how the disease itself has progressed from a certain death sentence to a “manageable illness” – at least in the United States. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to imagine a world without AIDS? Sadly, that prospect seems unlikely for several reasons. Normally I consider myself an optimist, but when it comes to this disease I’m not so optimistic about the future. While great discoveries have been made in the treatment of HIV, I believe political and social issues will keep us from having a real cure any time soon. Let’s explore each of those separately.

What does politics have to do with HIV? Plenty. In developed countries like the United States, many treatments are becoming available every day but these treatments are always quite expensive. Thankfully most people are covered by some sort of health insurance so their own costs are minimized. But this only makes the scandal easier to perpetuate. The pharmaceutical companies learned many years ago that there is no money in a cure. They know they can make an incredible fortune by just treating people with expensive drugs to keep them alive and somewhat “normal”. A cure would certainly cut into those profits. We live in what I call a “subscription society” these days in everything from electronic services to health care. People are actually renting their health. It’s sad.

Perhaps that view is a bit of a conspiracy theory, but the social issues are very real. You will notice that my discussion so far has focused on life here in the United States were people are living near normal lives with HIV. Such is not the case in most of the rest of the world. Less developed countries are experiencing AIDS in the worst way. It is spreading out of control and millions of people are still dying. Lack of education on safe practices and denial have fueled this pandemic to a point where entire generations of people have died – their children left orphans, their economies in shambles. The pharmaceutical company’s visions of profits do not apply in places where people can’t even afford to eat and so they are left to simply die.

Denial is even worse. AIDS is still considered a “gay” disease and many people in developing countries, and even here in the USA, don’t get tested because of that negative stigma. Not knowing they have HIV allows them to pass it along to their partners at an alarming rate. But this pandemic isn’t a gay disease anymore. It affects straight women more than anyone else these days and mothers can pass HIV on to their fetus. Until people get past this hatred of gay people and the disease still connected to it, AIDS will continue to spread out of control.

With these political and social issues preventing a cure for AIDS I think I am justified in being a bit pessimistic on the future. But it has been said that time heals all and I pray that a cure for AIDS will be made available to everyone in the world very soon. Until then the ominous cloud hangs over those infected and affected and the decisions they make – including me.

The Ominous Cloud of AIDS - Part 2 of 3 "The Present"

I thank God every day for my health and for keeping me safe from HIV / AIDS. But even though this disease is no longer the death sentence that it once was, the ominous cloud still hangs heavy over my life and my decisions.

After my last real relationship ended (suddenly and unexpectedly) I began to explore my new found sexual freedom. But STD's of all sorts, including the ever present HIV, are alive and well and I find that I am living in the middle of one of the highest risk areas in the United States. It’s still terrifying.

Times have changed and now a hot sexual encounter is only a click of the mouse away. In a person’s on-line profile right next to their age, height, eye color etc., you will also find their HIV status. The problem is that many people lie or simply omit that critical information because it cuts down on their prospects. My theory has always been to treat everyone as if they are HIV positive and hopefully that will help keep me safe. It’s a good theory but in practice it is not so simple. Oral sex has always been an area of question as far as safety goes. Many studies have proven that the risk is low – but it is still a risk. I find that I am much more likely to have oral sex with someone if I think they are a safer risk. If I know for sure that someone is HIV positive, I tend to omit oral sex. In fact I try to avoid sexual encounters with known HIV positive people as much as possible. It is not good logic – especially since people do lie – but it does help me mentally. Of course condoms are the rule for me EVERY time for other activities. I know people who actually believe they won't catch HIV if they are only a top, or if they stop before climax. They are fools.

The “ominous cloud” that I have been speaking of is heaviest and scariest when it comes to the HIV test. I take the test every year and typically more often. Thankfully we no longer have to wait a whole week or two to get those results. That was pure torture several years ago with the mind going in all directions while I waited for the results. It’s only been in the last year or so that we can have the result within an hour. Still the test is scary - very scary, especially when one is sexually active in a place like S. Florida. But it is important to know your status, weather or not you think you might have HIV. I pray God will continue to keep me safe.

After having a bit of sexual freedom, I think I am ready for a real relationship again. I’ve met a couple of guys that I thought might be right for me. But as luck would have it, I found out they are healthy HIV positive people. I’m again faced with the decision of having a relationship with someone who is already positive. Perhaps it is a bit selfish to only want a long term relationship with someone without HIV, but it is a heavy mental burden for both people when one is positive and the other is not. The risk is always there. If I do find someone I feel strongly about, I hope I will not let the fear of HIV interfere with that relationship.

Today in the United States, HIV has become a “manageable illness”. Great advances have been made in the treatments available. But they are expensive and come with many complications and side effects. We haven’t gotten to the point of living a “normal” life with HIV but its close. So what does the future hold for those infected and affected by HIV? I will cover those views and opinions in part three of this series.

Friday, September 29, 2006

The Ominous Cloud of AIDS - Part 1 of 3 "The Past"

Growing up gay in South Dakota was not easy. I couldn’t talk to anyone about it and there was the constant fear that I would be beaten up if someone found out. But despite all that, I ended up having one of those “love at first sight” moments in college. I’ll never forget the day I opened a door and almost ran into the most handsome man I had ever seen. I was obsessed with him and over the next 2 years I went out of my way to accidentally “be” where he was without looking too obvious. I was totally in love with him and I decided I wanted him to know. But just around that time news came out about this new “gay disease” called AIDS that was spreading fast. I decided I better wait until that whole mess was over before I declared my love for this guy.

It turned out to be one of the many decisions based around this new sickness that would affect my life well into the future. I never did tell that boy I loved him because AIDS was still a threat when I graduated. He later married a lovely woman and I think they are still married today. I’m sure he must have known I liked him – but he never said anything or tried to hurt me.

Not long after I graduated from college, I moved to S. Florida. I made lots of new friends, many of whom were HIV positive. Back in those days, if you had AIDS it was almost certainly a death sentence. I watched as many of my new friends fell ill and many of them died. It was sad and painful to watch them wither away to skin and bones especially at such a young age. Most were in their early 20s like me. I joined the MCC Church (a mostly gay diocese) and I remember a lot of sick people in church – some with oxygen tanks and tubes attached. Every week there was a list of people we prayed for, some who were sick and some who had already passed. It was all very sad – but mostly it was terrifying.

Soon I met another man that I was instantly attracted to – a very handsome Cuban guy. He told me right away that he had AIDS and I was faced with a decision on weather to date him or not. Do I want to give my heart to someone who might not be here long? Do I want to watch my loved one fall ill and die? And what about my safety – it was a very serious decision. I decided to love the man and try not to think about the sickness. We had a very brief but passionate romance and of course we were extremely careful when it came to sex. We broke up before too long because of personality conflicts – but I still loved him. We lost touch after a while and I found out about 6 months later that he had died. I still think of him often to this day.

I decided it was a very bad time to be dating and I prayed I would find one nice guy I could settle down with and live happily ever after. Eventually I did meet a very nice man and we quickly set up house together. There was safety in a monogamous relationship. But it wasn’t long before I realized that I wasn’t really in love with him. I loved him – I just wasn’t “in love” with him. He said we should just stay together until we found someone else. It seemed like a good idea at the time because again – there was safety there. We became very comfortable in our life and 10 years quickly went by before either of us found someone else. I eventually found someone I was totally in love with and I thought he felt the same for me. It turns out he didn’t love me the same way – and that is another story. But I ended the 10 year relationship for him and by this time it was devastating for my partner. It’s been almost 5 years since we broke up and I still think he hates me. I can’t help but think if I hadn’t been so scared of AIDS, I may have ended the relationship much sooner and it would have been less painful for him.

Suddenly I found myself a single man for the first time in a very long time. And that brings us to the present time where I will continue with Part 2 in this series.

He talks too much.

I am quite surprised to see that I have written nearly 100 articles in this Blog. Oh I'm not really surprised at the number 100, Most of the topics that I have in my head go unwritten due to the fact that another topic of greater importance comes up. The Bush Administration has certainly given many a Blog writer, and comedian, plenty of material. Of course time is always a factor so many things go unsaid. Still, 100 is a big number and worth noting.

To celebrate this milestone, I think I will do a special series on a very personal topic that has dominated most of my life. I thank God every day that so far I have been spared HIV / AIDS. But even though I am not infected by this pandemic virus, my life has certainly been affected by it. I think I will do this in a series of three articles dealing with my past, the present and the future.

Please stay tuned as it may take me a little while to get all three done.

Fix it - and they will come (back)

I've waited several days to write this article because I wanted to see if my opinion changed. It hasn't.

The topic is New Orleans, and the fact that they managed to re-open the Super Dome. I ask myself many times this week which is more important - to bring commerce back to support the city or rebuild the homes destroyed by hurricane Katrina? I suppose it would be easy to say commerce is more important if you can afford a $100.00 ticket to the game and then drive or fly home to your own comfy bed. But ask someone who is still living in temporary housing, their families separated and spread across the USA, some without a home at all, and I bet the answer would be different.

Millions - possibly billions - were spent to repair the Super Dome. No doubt the sold out crowd generated millions of dollars as well - but how much of that went to help restore the community? Did the players donate part of their multi-million dollar salaries to the cause? Imagine what could be accomplished if the thousands of people who attend the game worked just a couple of hours before the game to help rebuild.

In my opinion, the poor people of New Orleans have been let down yet again. I understand the importance of fixing the Super Dome so it could possibly be used as a shelter again. But lets get our priorities straight. First get people back in their homes. Then have a big grand event to celebrate - and invite those people!

Monday, September 11, 2006

United We Stand - Divided We Fall

On this 5th anniversary of the terrorist attacks of 9/11 I'm reminded of the irony that the terrorists actions united this country - and our President managed to divide it again.

Monday, September 04, 2006

We started a war we can't win.

Anyone who reads my Blog knows that I have been against the war in Iraq from the beginning, but while I do not support the war itself, I do support the troops fighting the war. Further, I believe that since we started this horrific war, we must complete the task. I think it would be extremely dangerous to simply pull our troops out without gaining stability in Iraq first.

But while watching "Real Time with Bill Mahar" the other day I realized what a huge problem this war has become. It has developed into nothing less than a civil war between the Sunni, Shi'ite, and Kurds and therefore America has been put in a very delicate situation. The only way to really "win" this war is to pick a side - but we simply can't do that. So what do we do?

I'm afraid I don't have the answer. I'm also afraid the Bush Administration doesn't have the answer either. I pray, for all the people involved including our own troops, that someone will come up with an answer very soon. And I pray that answer doesn't involve dropping more bombs.

You Think You Are Better Than Me?

Organized sports, along with beauty pageants, wars, and so called "Reality TV" are all examples of what I believe is a very bad human characteristic flaw. Why are people so obsessed with proving themselves or someone they like to be better than everyone else? Sports fans are the most interesting to me. "We Won!" the fans will scream when in fact "we" didn't do anything but pay a lot for a seat in a stadium while "they" actually played the game. And worse yet - many of those folks didn't even get up off their couch! The hatred against the opposing team is most disturbing. You are considered nothing less than a traitor if you support a team your friends don't like. Fights or even riots break out when the "other" team wins. But what does any of it really matter? Have the World Series Champs or their fans (of any year) saved any lives? Did the Super Bowl Champs or fans (of any year) help feed any hungry people? Did the NBA Champs or fans (of any year) cure a disease?

I have to admit I am not a sports fan and I'm often considered an outcast because of it. How is it possible that "The Big Game" is on every weekend? I just don't get it. In my opinion, sports should be for exercise or socializing with your family or friends. But it is very hard to be a gracious loser or a modest winner. Winners always gloat and losers always feel depressed.

I guess that's why I prefer non-competitive sports. Bicycling is my main form of exercise and I also enjoy kayaking, roller blading, gym training and swimming. I can do all of these things on my own without competing with anyone. When I'm done I feel great because I did the work, I got the exercise and I didn't have to prove myself to anyone.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Free To Be

Last night at the dance club I saw a "normal" looking dude descend a staircase in such a way that Dianna Ross might be proud - and he didn't even know anyone was watching. I guess I'm glad I'm not that gay, but God bless him for being himself.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Playing God

Personally I have not yet made a firm opinion on Stem Cell research because there is a fine line between science and morals. But President Bush's recent veto of a bill to allow federal funding of stem cell research makes that line kind of "wiggly".

He made his announcement of this veto at a gathering of families with children born of invitro-fertilization. Somehow, in our Presidents twisted Christian logic, it is ok to dig an embryo out of a human, manipulate it and put it back in order to create life - but it's not ok to do nearly the same thing to save a life. In my opinion this is exactly the same thing.

As technology continues to evolve there are going to be many times when we as humans will need to consider the question "because we can - does that mean we should?" That answer will always be deeply personal for everyone and based on their own set of circumstances. We must always remember that what is right for me might not be right for you. However, we should at least try to be consistent in our decisions - especially if we are creating laws that affect many other people.

I consider myself deeply Spiritual but also very scientific. Even writing this article was difficult because I'm torn in both directions. But, in my (not yet firm) opinion, death is a natural part of life and both should be allowed to occur naturally and in due course.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Another Reason I Hate Marketing

Toothpaste was on my shopping list and my supermarket has decided that I will have Colgate this time (I always buy what is on sale). But why are there so many versions of Colgate Total? Shouldn't "Total" include everything? They had "Total Whitening", "Total Tartar Control" etc. And I hate the fact that I have to choose between tartar control or whitening or fresh breath etc.. I want it all - Totally! Honestly, I don't believe any of this marketing nonsense anyway.

They should call it "Colgate Almost Everything with Whitening"

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

So What About Those Ports?

I for one have not forgotten about this very important issue - but it seems the rest of America has. And why not? After all, our President assured us it would be taken care of. But the fact is that NOTHING HAS BEEN DONE.

I did some Internet searches and the most recent article I could find on this topic was from June 19th. It was a transcript on Lou Dobbs Tonight (this topic is in the middle of the transcript). In short, the Dubai company has assumed management of the ports since March 6th, Congress has removed provisions that would prohibit the approval of that purchase, and the American public has been duped again. Our President assured us that this would be taken care of - most of us believed him and the subject was dropped. But the President was in favor of this agreement from the beginning so it's no surprise to me that he is quietly letting it continue.


Every day I read some heated article on gay marriage - yet this topic of National Security is quietly brushed aside. People please get your attention out of my bedroom and into the Oval Office where the real important issues are!

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Save Yourself First!

People need to concentrate on their own salvation and leave me alone to worry about mine.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Misdirected Consequences Continue

I can't help but think that had John Kerry been elected instead of "W" we would have concentrated on North Korea, a real threat to world peace, rather than Iraq.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Wait, Wait, Wait, Wait, Woo-hoo!

Vacation is a lot like an amusement park ride. You stand in line forever waiting and when you finally get on the ride it only lasts a few seconds.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

How Long Is "Eternity"?

Why is it OK to dig up and open ancient tombs? The people of that time spent many hours - some their entire lives building elaborate tombs so that their beloved dead could rest in peace for all eternity. But after only several hundred or thousand years we just dig them up and open them to study. True, the information we gather about our past is invaluable - but it just seems so irreverent to me.

Maybe we should just leave them as they are until technology allows us to scan them without disturbing them. But perhaps an x-ray would be rather annoying to a mummy as well.

Personally, I don't believe the human body has much value after the Spirit has left it, but obviously some cultures do. Perhaps we should show more respect for them.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Stupid Terrorists

Today President Bush expressed his disgust over the leak in the press regarding tracking of financial data in the "war on terrorism". He said the leak to the press gave away our secret plan to foil the plans of the terrorists.

Now I do agree that we should keep some things secret in order to stay a step ahead. But does President Bush really believe that the terrorists didn't already know we were tracking their financial moves? Of course they already know that - and quite frankly I think most Americans already knew we were doing that. Our gripe on this matter is that they MUST operate within the law or they are violating our basic rights.

Terrorists are not stupid. If the President really believes that then it's no wonder we can't seem to get the upper hand. I think that Iraq has clearly proven that arrogance does not win a war.

Not Just a "Gay" Thing

As an openly gay man, I find that I often end up having to do both the "boy" chores and the "girl" chores when it comes to family gatherings. But wait - my sisters were helping load the trees on the truck too. And those steaks and Philly sandwiches prepared by my sister's husbands were just delightful!

Maybe it's not a "gay" thing after all!

Friday, June 09, 2006


I am really not the vengeful type, but I have to admit a certain satisfaction watching all these huge SUVs pulling up to the gas pump. Most of the people who drive these beasts are the ones that voted for Bush / Cheney. More importantly, most of those SUVs are driving around with one person in them. Surely a smaller vehicle would suffice in most of these cases. Its this type of selfish behavior that has caused a shortage of supply - if indeed there is a shortage. If there isn't a shortage now, there certainly will be one in the near future if people don't stop driving these wasteful monsters.

Homemade Hooey

While out driving just now I saw a truck with a large logo painted on the side that read:

Working Cow
Old Fashioned Homemade Ice Cream

Am I supposed to believe that this product was not made in a factory of some sort? I just find it hard to believe that someone at home made a whole truck full of ice cream. In my opinion, the word "Homemade" is one of the most incorrectly used words in our culture.

Thursday, June 01, 2006


There is too much technology in toothbrushes and tennis shoes.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Be Careful The Company You Keep

I had jury duty this week and was selected for a trial. I can talk about it now because the case is over but I will still be vague as to the complete nature of the crime. However, I feel the need to share this valuable lesson I learned while working on this case.

The Defendant in this case was what you would consider an accessory to the crime - although they used other terms in the actual proceedings. The person who committed the actual crime was a friend of the Defendant and they hung out together a lot. I don't doubt that the Defendant in our case probably knew that the other man was of questionable character but they remained friends none the less.

We the Jury listened to all the evidence in the case and there was a lot, but it dealt almost entirely with the main person who committed the crime. In fact there was not one piece of evidence presented to us that proved that the Defendant knew anything about the crime before it happened. It appeared to us that he had the misfortune of being asked to drive a car to the scene to pick up the other person who actually was committing the crime. Having no evidence presented that he knew of the crime before hand, we found the Defendant innocent of the charges.

Here is the kicker: We found out after the case was closed that the Defendant in our case had spent the last three years of his life in jail. He was arrested at the scene and it took 3 years for his case to come to trial. Three years!! That is very upsetting to me and I'm sure even more upsetting to him. But it did send a wake-up call to me, and hopefully anyone who might read this.

Be mindful of the people you associate with. If you feel a person is of questionable character, listen to that voice in your head and always think twice before you offer to help them.

If you can't say anything nice.....

Oh my, it's been almost a month since my last post where I promised to try to be more positive in my Blog. Either I don't have anything good to say or I have just been very busy. Truth be told it's a little of both. But let's give this positive attitude thing a try.

I've noticed that since gas prices have gone out of control that my commute to work is much smoother! It seems there is not as much traffic since people can't afford the gas. And perhaps the carpool idea just might be gaining some new respect which is great news for the environment.

Some more good news, the Presidents poll numbers continue to plummet which means that people are finally starting to realize, after only 5 years or so, that our nation is not headed in the right direction.

And here is some good news in nature: Every year in April my huge mahogany tree drops all it's leaves and grows a new set within a week. This process is usually a huge mess for the whole block. However, since Hurricane Wilma took a big chunck out of the tree - the leaf drop was very manageable this year. And only half as many leaves ended up in the pool!

Well, nobody can say I didn't try. But I'm pretty sure that sarcasm does not equal a positive attitude. I'll keep trying.

Friday, April 21, 2006

Let's Try Something More Positive

I created this blog a while back to vent my frustrations about things that are happening in the world - mostly in politics. The Bush Administration has given me many reasons to be frustrated. But I've found that "venting" doesn't really help me and I'm not sure it helps anyone else either. I get more frustrated writing the article and then it makes me think of more things that bother me that are mostly out of my control. I find myself driving home at night thinking of blog articles I want to write (most of which I forget later) and by the time I get home I'm all stressed out.

Today I was reading my Sister's blog which is a collection of positive, self help type articles. It made me realize that what I need to do is stop complaining and try to create change by positive thinking. This will probably not be easy for me to do at first but I'm going to give it a try.

I would like to continue to comment on things that I find of concern, but there must be a better way to word it so that they are based on positive thinking. I'm excited by the concept - let's see what I can do!

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Monday, April 17, 2006

How Democrats Can Win

I watch two political comedy shows that I find very funny, entertaining and even informative. They are "Real Time with Bill Mahr" and "The Daily Show" with John Stewart. Both of these shows have political guests that are mostly supportive of the Democratic party.

A central theme has developed on these shows since the last presidential election. They suggest that the Democrats need to get some "balls" and become more like Republicans in their political strategy. This is a bad move in my opinion. Republicans are better at politics true - but politics is a dirty game. Republicans win because they twist the truth, have more money to spend and as our current investigations are proving, are corrupt and fraudulent. That's not what the Democrats are or what we should become.

The Democrats are fine the way they are. We actually are what the Republicans claim to be. We are a kinder, gentler group of people. We have actual faith in God rather than blind religion. We believe in less government and personal privacy and true freedom. We are not Hippocrates and thieves. We believe in equal opportunity for all - not just a certain group of people. We are pro-people, not pro-corporation. We do not need to change these good values.

So what do we need to do to win elections? One thing - get people in our party to vote! For all the positive characteristics I mentioned above we have one mighty flaw. So many in our party expect someone else to get things done. But the job is up to each of us. We must ALL get out and vote.

I believe that the number of people who support the Democratic theology far outnumber the conservative Republicans. John Kerry, while not my first choice, would have made a fine president and I think a lot of people supported him. The problem was not a weak candidate. The problem was weak voters.

That is where we need to put our effort and money - to get people in the Democratic party to get out and vote. Of course we also need a good strong person to vote for - but not one who acts like a Republican.

An Army of None

President Bush has said that to question the progress and/or motivation for the war in Iraq sends the wrong signal to the troops who are over there fighting the war. I have another question. What kind of signal are you sending to potential recruits when people that should be fired are not? Several retired top military officials are calling for Rumsfeld to resign and President Bush ignores those suggestions saying he believes he is doing a good job. Rumsfeld is clearly a failure in his position and should have been fired years ago. He continues to lead in the wrong direction and apparently that is just fine with "W".

If I were a young man / woman considering a future with the military, I'd have a big problem with that.

Imagine if Enron were still around with the same management, doing the same wrong things with the same bad results. How many executives would be lining up to join that company? How many stockholders would support that? Of course that can't happen in business because once people know - they won't buy that stock. If that were true in politics Bush would have never been re-elected.

Friday, April 14, 2006

Port Hole

Any word yet on which American company is taking over the Port management we didn't allow the United Arab Emirates to buy? Anyone?

Why isn't the media asking this question? Are we better off now? Are we safer? Who is it? I want to know.

"Gay" By Any Other Name

I had an interesting e-mail conversation with my good friend Toine tonight regarding the term "Same Gender Loving". It's a phrase that is being accepted in the black community rather than the word "Gay". I first commented on this in my article called "The Other List". Toine, being black and at least partially Same Gender Loving is a good person to have this conversation with because he sees the other perspective. Here are some excerpts from our conversation:

D - I’m reading the newsletter from the Bishop . (a local e-mail list) I’m irritated that the blk gay folk now want to use the term “Same Gender Loving” as if “gay” only refers to wht folk. I also found that term being used in Clique magazine. I hate all these labels and acronyms.

T - I read the newsletter. I don’t know why/when blk gay folk started using that term. I don’t think Same Gender Loving people think "gay" refers to wht folk. I think they may be trying to make the point that when the term is used, is mainly associated with wht folk.

D - I thought it was associated with gay folk.

T - Not according to some Same Gender Loving folk.

D - Well homosexual is homosexual no matter what word(s) you use. It’s difficult to be politically correct when the terms keep changing. And the terms keep changing because people don’t want to be who they are. But you can only change the term – you can’t change who you are.

T - The point is that it probably has more to do with race and being accepted into the larger "gay" society than it has to do with sexual orientation.

D - If a dude got more than one dik in him – he gay. LOL

T - LOL I think you’re still missing the point. It’s not about being just gay. It's about being colored and being accepted into the larger gay, i.e. white, society. There is a distinction.

D - I don’t think there should be a distinction (even though I agree there is one). But if there is a distinction – it rests totally on the side of the blk folk in my opinion. No wht person would say you can’t be gay because you are not wht. Why can’t everyone use the same words? It doesn’t really make sense to me. Further – if gay blk folk are Same Gender Loving – then so am I and all those other gays. Will the blk gays get offended if we also use that term?

T - Everyone says that they don’t think that there should be a distinction but yet there still is. Go figure. I don’t think its accurate to say that the perception lies solely with blk folk. Something perpetuates the distinction. If you don’t think so, consider this as an example. Why is it that a wht guy can be "ok" with having sex with a blk guy, as long as his friends don’t know, but not be comfortable dating a blk guy? I know the opposite is also true but the root cause of that is based on race and what the larger society thinks.

D - Well all that I can agree with 100%. So do you think using “Same Gender Loving” instead of “Gay” breaks down that distinction or perpetuates it?

T - I don’t think its meant to do either. I think one of the points was to come up with something that allows Same Gender Loving folk to not have to look to the larger gay society to define themselves. However, I wasn't at the Same Gender Loving People meeting so that's only my best guess.

Monday, April 03, 2006

No Hero

As I've said before, I am against Capital Punishment, but there is a better reason not to execute Zacarias Moussaoui, the only person being charged in this country in connection with 9/11.

Right now he can be viewed as a failure because he did not complete his mission of terror. If we were to execute him for his crimes he could then be viewed as a martyr by those who support his cause. Being alive is worse than death for this type of terrorist. We shouldn't help him complete his mission.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

The Straw

You're slightly past over weight, you appear to be trans-gendered, and you chose to wear a thong bikini to the beach. I can almost forgive all of that. But did you have to wear it inside out?! My OCD won't let me past that little tag.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Netflix Sukz

When Netflix first came out I thought it was the coolest thing since microwave ovens. Pay $19.95 a month (at the time) and you get 3 movies to watch whenever you want - keep them as long as you want - and when you are done send it back and they will send the next one on your list. It was easy, fast and convenient. I raved about the service and got several family members and friends to join the service as well.

Several other companies got into the business and Netflix decided to lower their rate by several dollars in order to compete. Great! Only I started to notice that the movies were taking longer to get to me than they were in the past and I wasn't getting my first choice very often. For a while I chalked that slowness up to the post office until I read an article about a practice Netflix was using called "throttling". Netflix decided they could make more money if they slowed down the amount of movies you receive because they would save the postage. They do this for people who view a lot of movies. They prefer those customers who pay the membership dues and then only rent 1 or 2 movies a month. How's that for customer service?!

Well I think it SUKZ! I canceled my membership and joined instead. Pretty much the same deal but hopefully they won't manipulate my account in such a way. I'm guessing Blockbuster values their best customers and will treat their accounts with respect.

Netflix had a good thing going - but their greed will be their ruin.

Monday, March 27, 2006

Republican Slavery

The new immigration policy which would (eventually) allow some illegal immigrants to gain citizenship seems an unlikely cause for the Bush administration. But it's totally Republican if you read between the lines. Bush argues that these people are needed in this country to do the jobs Americans are unwilling to do.

Here is the real motivation. Big business does not want to pay a rate that would make Americans willing to do the job. It is in the interest of business to let illegal immigrants stay here and work for terrible wages while businesses increase profits.

There is no job Americans are not willing to do - for the right price.


My friend and I (both new car owners) are convinced that birds simply love the sound their droppings make when it hits a vehicle. After all, how often do you see bird crap on the ground?

Friday, March 17, 2006

You Can't Win If You Don't Play

True - You can't win if you don't play.

But it only takes one to win. I always buy two - one for me and one for my spouse. Since I don't have a spouse right now I guess that's two for me!

I get so irritated waiting in the line for my two lottery tickets. There is always someone in front that is ordering every type of ticket they have. They are spending more on their tickets than I was hoping to win!

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Ports Saved?

Well it seems a lot of people thought the Dubai Port deal was a bad idea. We have all been assured that the port management will now be bought by an American company. But why will nobody say who that company is? Something smells fishy.

The managment of the ports is only a minor part of this issue. The real issue that came up once again is that very few containers are ever inspected which is a huge national security risk. But for some reason the Bush Admin. doesn't seem concerned about it. That's just plain stupid.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

God Help Us

I sincerely hope I am being an alarmist with this post.

The world is in a really bad spot right now. It seems we are teetering on the edge of a world war. I don't think a lot of people here in America realize how bad the situation is. The Muslim community is very large and already seriously mad at the United States due to the problems in Iraq which is on the verge of a civil war. Now the fury grows with the Danish cartoon that brought offensive to the Muslim beliefs. Tensions are rising and the situation grows worse every day. Something needs to be done fast to avoid a potentially terrible situation.

I urge everyone to pray for peace. Pray for understanding and tolerance. Pray that tempers will be cooled. Pray to whatever God you were thought to believe or choose to believe. Despite my rants on extremists, I believe in prayer. Without some divine help, we are all in serious trouble.

Port Deal - Bad Deal

I am all for free trade and a global marketplace - but this deal sends red flags in my head.

The Bushes, Cheneys and other people involved with big oil companies may be good friends with the Unites Arab Emirates, but I don't believe the UAE are friends of the American people - they literally have us over a barrel with oil prices. So I was shocked when I read last Sunday that 6 major ports in the USA were sold to the UAE. But I am absolutely stunned by the fact that our President and Congress didn't know about the sale until after it was already approved. I am further flabbergasted that the President supports the deal. And as details come out it seems more and more of a secret deal that is possibly illegal and bypassed proper checks and balances.

Personally, I had no idea that the ports were already run by a British company. Doesn't it just seem odd? But regardless of that fact, it just seems really unusual that of all the companies in the world, a UAE company would be the new buyer.

These major ports are the back door - maybe even the front door to the USA. The fact that these ports are already poorly regulated and shipments seldom inspected was one of the main focus points of John Kerry's presidential run. It is an extremely vulnerable area to the United States security. And now our President thinks it is just fine that they will be controlled by an organization that has specific ties to 9/11.


Friday, February 17, 2006

Mother Earth Has the Flu

Mother Earth has been infected with an invasive virus that is making her mighty sick. The name of the virus is called Humans. The infection can be seen as sort of a rash made visible especially at night.

Her natural immune systems are working hard to fight this infection. She has a slight fever which is setting into motion other disease fighting actions - storms, floods, fires, droughts - all in an effort to rid herself of these invasive pests.

It's a far fetched theory - and one I did not think of - but it does make sense. If we want Mother Earth to stop fighting us, we need to learn to live in a non-invasive manner. Protect Mother Earth and she will protect us.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Healthcare is Big Business

Today while on the treadmill at the gym I watched the President give a press conference where he spoke on the problems with our health care system. He spoke of cuts that need to be made to make the system work better. But this is the wrong approach in my opinion.

Here is the problem with our health care system in a nutshell. The pharmaceutical companies and medical professionals seriously over charge for their products. The insurance companies refuse to cover it - so they pass those extra costs on to the patients in higher co-pays or simply refuse to cover certain things at all. By not covering certain things they deem as overpriced, they are second guessing the physicians and now the patients are not getting the care their doctor recommends. Those are big problems and making cuts to the patients benefits is not going to solve the problem.

The problem needs to be addressed at the top - not the bottom. These giant corporations should be regulated much like an electric utility is. If the cost of drugs and physician care would come within a reasonable realm, the rest of it would likely fall into place. But don't expect that to happen while the current administration is in power. These huge corporations are big supporters of the GOP because they support big business. So, as is always with the republican philosophy, the rich get richer, the poor get poorer and the sick get sicker - or die.

The Arrogance of Cheney Astounds

Today Vice President Cheney took full blame for accidentally shooting his friend while hunting. A nice gesture but totally not necessary. I don't think anyone is blaming anyone for what was clearly an accident. But the Vice President continues to stand by his delayed reaction to reporting this accident to his boss and the American people.

I'm not at all surprised. This man is evil. He clearly lives by a policy held by a lot of top ranking Republicans that they can do no wrong - no matter how wrong they are. But standing firm on your bad decisions does not make them right.

These officials need to realize that they were elected by the American people (not me) and as such, we are their employers. They DO need to report their actions and they DO need to follow the will of the American people - at least the ones that voted for them.

This arrogance has got us in a heap of trouble in Iraq (remember "shock and awe"?), the Abu Gharib prison scandal and a (big) list of other issues. It needs to stop now!

Monday, February 06, 2006

Response to "Lost"

I never knew my oldest sister was so wise, but she has done a lot of research to support her book "Directed Dreaming" and Blog on how to achieve success in life. When she read my last posting "Lost" she had the following to say about the power of positive thinking:


Here's your problem. You need to QUIT worrying about that "thing" you think you should be doing (and even telling yourself there is a thing), it's driving you nuts, and how do you know you're not already doing it? You help tons of people each day in your job, so maybe you are already making a difference and doing that thing.

Change this thinking to: I know that I am doing exactly what I need to do to make a difference. Word it so that it makes sense to you in a positive way.


Every night before I go to bed, I say a few things, I won't tell you all of them, but here are the most important.

I believe that I am Divinely Guided
I believe that I will always make the right decisions.
I believe that God will make a way where there is no way.


Try these for once, and stop stressing!

Wednesday, February 01, 2006


I'm nearly 41 years old. Shouldn't I have some idea what I want to do with my life? I've always had a feeling that I have something important to do in my lifetime - I just wish I knew what that was. Oh - and I hope it pays well.

Friday, January 27, 2006

Use Your Turn Signal Every Time

Even if - no - Especially if you don't think anyone will see it.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Tax the Churches

Religious conservatives don't understand the importance of seperation of church and state and I've touched on this topic before. It's a very important concept to understand and one only needs to look at the horrors in other countries that do rule by their concept of God's will to see exactly why it is important (think suicide bombers as martyrs).

Our country seems to be swiftly marching down that same destructive path and it needs to stop. However, if these religious conservatives don't understand the concept then it's high time we start taxing the churches. Churches shouldn't get to run the country and also remain tax free. Imagine how that would help the deficits!

Seriously though - it simply can't work. Which church should make the rules? Ask 10 people in 10 different states and you will probably get 10 different answers. And possibly one of those would agree that suicide bombers are an excelent way to make a point. Another would agree that everyone should have 5 wives.

Let Law be Law and God be God.

Monday, January 23, 2006

Humans as Microbes

Did you ever notice that it doesn't matter if you are using a telescope, or a microscope you can see nearly the same thing? At the atomic level you see electrons rotating around a nucleus which are rotating around even smaller particles. In space we see moons rotating around planets rotating around stars rotating around black holes etc.

As a child looking into the dark sky of South Dakota I was amazed to be able to see our own Milky Way galaxy overhead. I couldn't imagine there were so many objects in space! In my adult life I've learned that our galaxy is only one of millions of other galaxies that are rotating around their centers and around other objects.

It seems the further we can look out into space the more there is to discover! Will we ever see to the end of it? I doubt we ever will. But the idea of the similarity between really tiny objects and ever increasing larger objects make me think that it could be possible that the earth might be only a part of a much larger object - like an atom is part of a larger object. Maybe all those galaxies are really something like electrons providing energy to this larger object.

It's really mind boggling to think in this manner, but it occurs to me that the "big picture" might be way bigger than we typically think. I only hope that when we die we get all the answers to these questions. And I also hope we are part of something really cool. But then that cool thing will probably only be part of something else.


Friday, January 20, 2006

My Car Supports Bush/Cheney - But I Don't

It took only a hint that a hurricane might hit to send gas prices soaring even before the storms stuck. But the storms have passed and most of the damage has been repaired, high driving season is over and yet gas prices continue their rise. Surely there MUST be a reason for the high prices - right?

There is. Your President, Vice President and a cast of political friends are in the business and profiting greatly. There really is no good excuse for the out of control prices - there certainly is no shortage. The oil companies have reported record profits in the billions. It's revolting.

I'm sure glad I didn't fall into that SUV trap.

I'm no economist so I invite discussion if you don't agree.

What's in a Word?

Words are very powerful. Just one can make a big difference. Extremist politicians like to change a word to benefit their cause and sometimes it takes only one. By changing the word "Equal" to the word "Special" they have gained a big following because nobody thinks homosexuals should have "special" rights. Neither do I.

The truth is that we want EQUAL RIGHTS - nothing more and certainly nothing less.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Mutts are People Too

This is sort of a follow up to my entry entitled Put the Children First, only this time it deals with pets.

My Ex invited me to visit the other day and see the new puppy he had given his boyfriend for Christmas. It was a beautiful Boston Terrier that was just delightful and fun. But I was surprised that my ex would spend that kind of money on a pure breed dog. Back when we were together we always considered rescuing a dog that was homeless instead - or maybe that was just me.

Pure Breed dogs are wonderful and I have nothing against them. My only point is that there are so many pets in shelters every day that are put to sleep for lack of homes. I wish more people would consider adopting one of these animals rather than paying big money for the pure breed animal.

I'm proud to say that in my adult life I have rescued 3 mixed breed dogs who have been wonderful companions that I wouldn't have traded for the world. Thankfully even gay folk can legally adopt a pet!

Monday, January 09, 2006

Preaching to the Choir

I'd like to make a positive difference in this world - possibly through my Blog. But it occurred to me that people really only read things they already agree with. So I decided to make a point of reading something that differs with my point of view. My Supervisor at work, who is the political opposite of me, had this book carefully placed in her office so I thought I'd take a look. The name of the book is "The Enemy Within" by Michael Savage.

I only got about 20 pages in and couldn't continue. What a Nazi that dude is! I sincerely hope all Republicans are not that off base.

This short literary adventure didn't change my mind or make me lean any further to the right. But, despite a bad choice here, I still want to read things I don't necessarily agree with - and I hope other people do too.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

A Personal Message to Pat Robertson

Dear Pat,

Since you are always looking for signs from God in ordinary events, How about this one:

Hardly any church steeples survived the winds of Hurricane Wilma. Most of them are not back up yet. Isn't that interesting?

Why do Hospitals have to advertise?

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Sticks and Stones

You may have noticed on my previous post "Racism on the Flip Side" that I did not use politically correct terms. Actually, I did start to put them in but it got weird so I change it back. Native American Reservation just didn't sound right to me having grown up there and I've always been against the term African American because a lot of people of color do not come from Africa and may not even be Americans.

In most cases I do try to be politically correct but it can be quite difficult and frustrating. I think people today have just gotten too sensitive. Others have gone completely overboard trying not to offend anybody. Plus, the proper word or phrase changes too frequently. In my opinion, as long as you try your best not to offend someone, stay away from the obvious hurtful words, and chill out when someone makes an honest mistake it should be ok.

A gentle reminder of the word or phrase you prefer is ok too, but keep in mind that your word might not fit everyone. Also note that any word can hurt if used in hate. It's really more about semantics than words.

A previous co-worker's young child once said something that I found very amusing. Why do white people call us colored she asked, when they turn red when they are mad, pale when they are sick or blue when they are cold? I love the way children think!

Racism on the Flip Side

I'm against discrimination and racism in any form and I often speak out about it. But I'm not only an activist - I'm frequently a victim and I've dealt with these situations my entire life. I guess it's because I'm often found in places that people like me usually are not.

I grew up on an Indian Reservation and was the only full blood white male in my graduating class. I endured a lot of situations and name calling that some of my younger sisters were not able to tolerate. For me I think it was a good learning experience. But that was years ago and I no longer live there.

My current situation is worse - because we are now adults. You see I am a gay man who happens to be mostly attracted to black men. I also go to gay hip hop clubs because I love the music and of course I like the guys that go there. Most of the guys in those clubs don't speak to me because they are interested in other black men and that is fine. But occasionally I will run into someone I've met previously in another setting - some of them I've known for a while. But when they see me in the club they want to act like they don't know me. I guess it's sort of "un-cool" to be associated with the white guy in a mostly black club. I do have a problem with that. I usually try to find a way to point it out to the person later on, which they usually deny. But it has happened so frequently to me that I know it is real and not imagined.

It's sad to me that people who have also dealt with racism and discrimination their whole lives would take part in it themselves. We ALL need to get past this and I urge people to speak out when they see things like this happening. Bringing it to the surface makes people think and could possibly bring about change.

Cliche Phrases I Try to Live By

  • Today is the first day of the rest of your life
  • Live life to the fullest
  • All things in moderation (it's not a contradiction to the one above)
  • Take nothing but pictures - Leave nothing but footprints
  • Waste not - Want not
  • What comes around - goes around
  • Beauty is in the eye of the beholder
  • Love thy neighbor
  • Don't put off until tomorrow what you can do today (unless it's a sunny beach day)
  • A sunny beach day takes all the work away (ok - I made that one up)

And occasionally:

  • Eat, Drink and be Mary (it's not a typo)

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Put the Children First

I've said before that God works in mysterious ways. But sometimes its not really that mysterious and makes perfect sense - if we look at the situation with an unbiased mind.

Doesn't it seem probable that God created childless couples - both straight and gay - to take care of the children that are unwanted by other people? Why do people go to such extremes with fertility clinics etc. when there are so many children that need a good home? Everyone wants a child of their own and I think that is a bit selfish.

Furthermore, the adoption process in this country is overly complicated and slow. Nobody spends that much time interviewing teenagers or other married couples before they have a baby naturally. I agree care should be taken not to put a child in a situation that would be harmful, but the process should not be so strict and lengthy. Each day a child spends without a loving home makes a negative impact on that little life.

Finally, not only should gays be allowed to marry like every other citizen of this country, they should be allowed to legally adopt children if they qualify. And those qualifications should be exactly the same as any other person or couple who is trying to adopt. I personally know several gay couples that have raised children as foster parents from infancy to young adults. Those children are well balanced, intelligent, and no different than children raised by straight parents. Yet I live in one of those backward states (Florida) that could remove those children from their foster parents at any time. That is not only unfair - it's cruel.

We need to think about the children and put them first - not our own selfish desires or political or religious hang-ups.

Patriot Act BS

The White House is twisting reality around again to promote their agenda. I'm referring to the current debate over the Patriot Act.

I would like to remind my gentle readers that numerous probes and inquiry's have proven that there was no lack of information that lead up to the 9/11 attack. There were plenty of clues. The problem was the lack of communication between various Government agencies - through several Administrations. We need to resolve those communication gaps in order to prevent another tragedy.

The Patriot Act, on the other hand, does not rest well with me. Personally, I have always been the type of person that has nothing to hide. But the provisions of the Patriot Act are seriously invading a person's right to privacy. And what will they do with all this personal information? I can only imagine it will somehow help big business pad their bottom line. This administration has used 9/11 as an excuse for many political gains and I think the Patriot Act is just another example.

The Government does not have the right to know every detail of our lives. And despite our seriously off balance administration, I hope our good Politicians can recognize that fact and edit the Patriot Act into a useful but non-intrusive article.

Monday, January 02, 2006

Happy 2006!

I can tell it's a new year - not because I woke with a headache or flipped the calendar - the evidence is at the gym. I hate going to the gym right after New Years. It was packed today with people who had clearly made resolutions to get back in shape. Sadly I know that in a couple of weeks I won't be waiting for machines anymore.

I applaud those that made a resolution to get back into shape, I only wish people would stick with it. Having done a little traveling to other countries, I can report that Americans are by far the most out of shape. In my opinion there is nothing more important than taking care of your body - you simply can not live without it.

Good health should not be a resolution that fades after a couple of weeks - it should be a lifetime commitment. However, a resolution is a good place to start and for those who may read this with that resolution in mind, I wish you a lifetime of good health. If you can stick with it regularly (that is the key) for at least a month, you will more than likely be hooked.

I wish everyone a Blessed, Happy and Healthy 2006!